Consumer Assistance | Energy | Telecom | Warehouse | Commission Actions | Miscellaneous

arrowConsumer Assistance| previous page




Staying connected to family, friends and businesses is an important part of life. Having access to affordable telephone service for your home makes staying connected easier. You may qualify for Lifeline, a special program that helps reduce the cost of telephone service so you can connect for less.

Lifeline helps eligible consumers save up to $9.25 on their monthly phone bill. The discount applies to wireline or wireless residential telephone service plans and is limited to one line per household. Residents of tribal lands, see Tribal Lifeline and Tribal Link Up.

Eligible consumers may also be able to sign up for free toll blocking or toll limitation service that either blocks or limits long-distance calls from your phone.

The Lifeline program has eligibility requirements. You may qualify if you, one or more of your dependents, or your household participates in any of the following programs:
  • Medicaid (example, Title XIX/Medical State Supplemental Assistance)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • National School Lunch Program's Free Lunch Program
  • Or, if your household income is no more than 135 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines (see table below).

You may be asked to provide proof of your eligibility.


2017 Health & Human Services Poverty Guidelines
Number in Residence 135% Guideline (Annual)     Number in Residence 135% Guideline (Annual)  
1 $16,281     5 $38,853  
2 $21,924     6 $44,496  
3 $27,567     7 $50,139  
4 $33,210     8 $55,782  

For each additional person after 8, add $5,616 to the annual guideline.

Federal Register, Vol. 82, No. 19, January 31, 2017, pp. 8831-8832
(Applicable to the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia only.)

To apply for Lifeline, contact your telephone company for the Lifeline Assistance Application, complete the application, and then return it to your telephone company. A company representative will contact you to verify your eligibility and complete the application process. You will be required to provide documentation to prove eligibility.

Important Information
  • Lifeline is a government assistance program and the service is non-transferable.
  • Not all telephone providers in South Dakota offer the Lifeline discount.
  • Lifeline is available on only one line per household. A household is defined as any individual or group of individuals living together at the same address as one economic unit. An "economic unit" consists of all adult individuals contributing to and sharing in the income and expenses of a household. A household may include related and unrelated persons.
  • The Lifeline discount cannot be applied to past due telephone bills.
  • Once you are on Lifeline, you may be required to re-certify your continued eligibility for Lifeline at any time. If you do not re-certify, the phone company is required to stop the discounts.
  • It can take up to two months for the discount to show up on your bill as a credit. You must pay the bill until that time.
  • You must notify the telephone company when you no longer qualify for the Lifeline program.

Rev. 04/17/17